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Napster - Should Music Be Free To Share?

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      04.12.2009 10:50
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      MP freebies once again!

      In the good old days radio was the only place where you could get your music for free. You either tuned into a crackling Radio Luxembourg whilst doing your homework or the repetitive dirge of Radio One, playing the same song eight times a day, as they still do. There are people reading this now who work with Radio One all day and can vouch for that one! Radio Luxembourg was somehow naughty, an illegal transmitter on a rickety boat bobbing around in all weathers in the North Sea. The reception was poor so you would tune it in like a surgeon trying to find the right nerve end, your favourite songs washing over your bedrooms in waves as the reception slipped in and out, just like the boat undulating and creaking on the sea, Gary Numans, Cars one that always reminds me off those furtive stolen radio days. The question now is file sharing the new Radio Luxembourg, naughty but something we consider harmless and so not that illegal.

      In the 1970s and 80s we could only really tape/pinch pop music off Radio One for those reception reasons, FM radio still in its infancy, our two forefingers hovering over the play and record buttons on MW as the song kicked in on Sunday night's top 40. But you never knew the order of the songs to be played as it was the new chart, kept quiet for exactly those reasons of piracy, DJs talking over the start and finish of songs to scupper your recordings further. The artistes had much more control back then and once you got on the Radio One play list your record would be a hit. The system worked well back then because if you taped anything off the radio the quality was never great and so you had to purchase the single or the album from the shops for that better quality, the selling point, radio effectively free advertising for bands. Now the quality is very good with internet radio and file sharing and with the time and order of the songs not a problem there's no more DJs cheesy waffle or crackling on the tracks. It gets wore for the music biz because one person can now spread a single new recording all over the internet and so there's no need to buy that artistes music anymore. The music industry has a huge problem with that viral nature of the internet and they are losing the battle as well as millions and millions of dollars.

      Some of the more erudite reading this understand that if you steal good music then that band loses money and so the record company loses money so they cant invest in new bands. The whole thing stops if no one gets paid and if no one gets paid there's no music to steal. It's the same with Hollywood movies. I'm in that camp. But for others free is free and they will take what they can. The plus side is the music labels can't spend millions on creating naff boy and girl bands from scratch because they know they wont turn a buck on the new Take That's and Girls Aloud so just reform and tour those guys, where the real money is today. The Kajagoogoos and Spandua Ballets of the world are not returning because they have new material. A facebook group has got so fed up of the X-Factor dominating the Christmas charts they are asking everyone to buy a rather violent Rage Against the Machine record to top the Christmas Number One. F**K you I dont want to do what you tell me will be interesting to hear on Christmas Top of the Pops just before the Queens Speech.

      Radioheads 'In Rainbows' record, released back in 2007, is an example of how tricky the balance is to sell music in this technological environment. The cerebral band were one in a long line to try and make the online digital MP music format work for them by being more innovative, like their music (or so they say), realising that they will lose money by online pirates anyway so why not play them at their own game by asking their fan base to back them up on the internet with digital formats. The trouble is Radiohead miscalculated how honest and loyal there fan base would be and the experiment backfired. The idea was fans could pay what ever price they thought fair for the ten song record for a period of ten weeks exclusively from the bands own website. They could pay zero pence if they so chose and had just a 45p credit card fee on top. Smug Radiohead thought their super clever student fans and middle-class base would pay up, the added incentive of a heavily reduced limited edition box-set when it was pressed on CD there if they played fair. First reports suggested one-in-three people entered zero in the box, not even five pence to take the whole price up to 50p even, but not a disaster. The bands PR people spun the claim that by the time the CD was realsed the album had done 'very well' and 'most people' had paid the recommended retail price for the record. But Radioheads band manger said that was not the case and the average price paid for the online launch was about £4, the vast majority of the 75,000 people who purchased it, some 67%, paying zero pence, a total disaster. Once the ten week period ended enough of the fans bought the real CD and RRP sales reached 1.2 million by January 2008. In some ways it was a disaster but in others a success, shifting 100,000 of the box sets and nearly 3 million declared sales of In Rainbows to date. But what was clear from this experiment is if people have a way not to pay for music two thirds wont. The bands say the only way to beat that is to make sure that one third is a very big number, the internet increasing record sales by reach alone and for Radiohead, 'In Rainbows' eventually earning more money than Hail to the Chief at the same point, and so that third indeed very big. For them they made money from the shrewd promotion but only the big bands could risk that.

      Prince had a different angle on things for his 2007 release of Planet Earth, an arrogant one too, his people deciding it wasn't worth charging for a new album in the UK for retail and gave it away free with the Sunday Mail, Planet Earths world premier no less, the theory being that increased sales of the paper, which he presumably trousered the difference from the normal Sunday sales. No details were realsed if this worked or not but since 'Planet Earth' no other band has tried this stunt, the record just passing one million sales last week. Prince claims it was an altursitc gesuture but SonyBMG were not impressed and refused to stock it for a while in their high street outlets. HMV even bought thousands of copies of the Mail on Sunday for their stores because this was the only pace to get the record.

      Spotify are going with the Sky TV model of bundling in all the products(songs) together and punters paying a monthly fee. In this way the consumer gets bretter choice and the music companies at least get some guaranteed on-line revenue. Microsoft and Murdochs News International have also just teamed up online and planning a similar pay for journalistic content deal. If the big guns like that are going with bundling then it looks like its the way online music and media will be sold.

      For me I have an MP3 player on my phone and occasionally download some tunes. But Im not 100% into yet and still have an old Sony Walkman to play my old mix tapes. I completely ignored CDs as they jumped around and were over-priced in the United Kingdom, much cheaper to direct mail the from the US. Its always been a mystery to me why Brtish people have to pay £5 more for an Oasis record here than in the US yet when you buy a CD lablled import here it costs a fiver more?? Once tapes topped being sold here I lost interest in music.It was all dire indie rock anyway.

      Anyhow Im all for MP3 and embracing downloads from the internet now, cool how you can go to niche websites that just sell or fileshare your favourite music, obscorewestcoastrock.com where you will find me. I like my rock music and so the interent music download has been a revalation to people like me who have a more obscur emusic taste. In the 90s they were still fading gutar riffs on the radio rock music was ignored that blatantly. But now there are 100 places where I can listen to it and so I can get back in touch with my musical self. The web also lets you tune into US rock radio stations when theres nothing on telly.

      I suppose my conclusions on all this are MP3 digital downloads are great stuff and I will be one of the two thirds looking to find my music for free. It's the West Lifes and the Robbie Williams who need people to pay the downloads fees or their PR machine will struggle for cash and their hype weakened. The music I listen to doesn't make much money anyhow so it wont really hurt the bands. If websites like dooyoo had voucher tie-ins where we could get ten quids worth of music then I would defintely go for that but I hate giving out my credit card online because of damaging fraud and so that's probably the only way if you will get my money. Music should not be free for all online but it looks like its heading that way guys. If radiohead fans wont cough up, probably some of the most affluent out there, then who will guys?

      .

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        03.02.2009 19:50

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        I reckon if Napster do this right this will be the new music industry model for all

        I believe this is the way forward for the music industry. The rip-charging of 4 quid a single has now gone. People 'share' music for free which is of course illegal but it just goes to show you that a lot of people will want to download a lot of different music. Also this is a great as idea as it then makes 'file sharing' via Napster pointless. The music industry can still make good money if they are clever and find it from different revenues'. Such as making there own site like Napster and charging for advertising etc. Or I would be happy to pay 20p a download as well as a subscription. Most people know that any 'artists' that do not write their own songs will not see much of the profit anyway and most of the genuine music talent never makes it mainstream so my heart really does not bleed for this industry. My opinion is they should move on and adapt to today's music loving generation! Overall it seems Napster have got the right idea and is a shift in the right direction. The irony is (correct me if I am wrong) but I am sure Napster started as an illegal music download site and got caught out yet survived, and now are innovators for the future.

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        28.06.2003 23:38
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        Although it appears Napster is no more, there are still plenty of other fils sharing programs out there than allow you to download music without any real cost. The legal ethics are always pretty shady and in a way it's strange that people don't consider it stealing. Yet it's also strange that record companies only now have started to take notice when home taping has been going on for over a decade. The record industry on a whole are seeing the likes of Kaazaa etc as a real threat to their profits etc. They're arguing that people aren't buying records anymore and instead are downloading them at their own freewill with the artists being the ones who are losing out. Well stats have shown that record sales are still pretty good on the whole, if anything I'd say that downloading music in MP3's has helped the industry to a degree. I think that a lot of people downloads tracks that they hear on the radio, give them a good listen then if they like what they hear then they're more inclined to buy the actual cd. It's time the industry woke up to the fact that here in the UK prices for cd's have always been pretty high compared to the actual costs involved on production. The biggest rip-off for some time has been the singles chart. Paying £3.99 for a single which probably just has a couple of crappy remixes as extra incentive just doesn't provide any value whatsoever. When you compare that to the fact that you can buy an entire album probably including the single for around £8-9 pounds online then you only have one option as a consumer. I find it amazing that many record companies are moaning on and on about piracy, yes it's wrong but some people aren't left with much choice. Companies such as Sony have taken steps to protect their releases from being copied on PC's. This totally alienates some music purchasers who like to listen to cd's on their pcs's while doing work. The cd's in q
        uestion just won't work and personally I'd think twice about buying a cd with this kind of proctection on unless I really wanted the cd in question. The moaning also doesn't seem to have an end, I've yet to see record companies take an active approach to making music available online. Yes there's a few doing it but most of them appear to be independant minded and not the huge corporate people. As long as file sharing stays there is always going to be music being downloaded by users in their millions. Perhaps a fee based service is in order but then once one company does it then they'll just be another who'll offer the same thing for free. The good thing that's come of all this is that albums seem to slowly becoming more realistically priced.

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          22.07.2002 23:20
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          Those of us of a certain age (pre-CD) will remember the joy of getting a two-deck tape recorder, so we could copy our friend's tape collection. More youthful DooYooers will probably fondly remember their first CD burner, so they could copy their mates' CDs. And really, when it comes down to it, that's all Napster (RIP) and the other file-sharing programs enable their users to do. Why restrict yourself to your best friends poxy collection of early 90s grunge CDs, when you can access the rare, live, unreleased material which you'd normally pay well over the odds for in a decent record store? In fact, why buy CDs at all, ever? Because by hunting around on file sharing programs, you are guaranteed to find the latest releases, in good quality, often before the official release date. And why stop there? While you're at it, why not download the latest movies? Minority Report due for release in British Cinemas soon. Who cares, download it from the internet 2 weeks earlier. (OK, best with a fast internet connection, otherwise it still won't have downloaded by the cinema opening!) Want more? Sure, just download some games. Hey, who needs the CDs, some kind soul has just cracked them, so you can play them without. The very latest releases too - Medal of Honor, Zoo Tycoon, The Sims... you name it, we've got it for you. Now, I'm not going to say which file sharing programs I use, or what I've managed to download, but lets just say I've found uses for file sharing. So how does it actually work? Well, like I said, it's like swapping CDs with your mates, but on a much bigger scale. There are 2 main types of file sharing - peer to peer, and central hub. In central hub sharing, you never know who you're downloading from. You agree to share some of your files (ie put your CDs in the middle of a huge room), loads of people do the same, and then you search through the huge p
          ile of CDs in the middle of the room for the one you want, and copy it. Sort of. In peer to peer, you actually form a direct connection with someone else's computer, and download from them. Again, most programs include extensive search engines to help you find the files and the user you want. So what's the big problem then? Well, it's... um... a bit... illegal. I'm sure none of us would opt to stray from the straight and narrow, but, in all honesty, file sharing is, strictly speaking, promoting the illegal copying of copyrighted material. The legal disclaimers usually state you can only download a file you already legally own in another format, but even that is open to debate. (ie, theoretically, you shouldn't back up your CDs onto your computer or onto tape for the car stereo...) The thing is, in my view, it depends what you use it for... I've bought CDs purely on the basis that I've liked tracks I've downloaded. I wouldn't have listened to them otherwise, and I wouldn't have bought the CD. So, in that sense, file sharing is actually bringing more income into the music industry, not less. But, I admit, on some occasions, I've downloaded entire albums, including the cover artwork and CD labels (from a different website), and "made" an exact copy. Wrong I know. Illegal I know, but sometimes the temptation is there. What I do object to, and chances are many of you will have come across it, is people making these copies, and selling them to friends/colleagues/relatives for profit. To me, that's taking the illegal bit a little too far, and to be honest, if they get caught, they deserve everything they get. Which leads me nicely onto the next bit... As you all know, Napster was famously closed down, due to pressure from the music industry, (in particular, a certain drummer from Metallica...) Some of you will also be aware of the similar shut-
          down of AudioGalaxy, another well known file sharing program. These sites are easy to target, because they rely on the "central hub" I mentioned earlier, giving the prosecutors something tangible to attack. The more recent, (and now much more successful) file sharing programs use the peer to peer (P2P) mechanism, meaning there is no central server to "blame". So how can this file sharing be stopped? Simple answer, it probably can't. One way would be to make CDs more affordable, but that's a simplistic approach, and more factors need to be taken into consideration. The main issue is that "file sharing" has gone on in different forms for many years, and always will. Why did tape manufacturers sell blank cassettes? Most were used for copying. They must have known that. The programmers who come up with these file sharing programs know what they are doing, and they have the technical and legal knowhow to stay one step ahead of the law. Napster fell foul, then AudioGalaxy followed. More will close in the near future, but file sharing will continue for a good few years yet. You're breaking the law... how can you live with yourself? OK, so I've admitted to the odd bit of CD copying (non-profit, obviously). But one of the potential problems with file sharing is that it could, possibly, drag you into deeper and darker realms. As I mentioned, you can now download the latest cinema releases, and the latest computer games. Not to mention the all-encompassing pornography. Gradually, without even noticing, you become more technically aware. You work out how to turn a DivX format movie into a Video CD which will play on most DVD players. You work out where to find key codes, serial numbers and no-CD cracks for computer games... where does it end?! Sooner or later, you'll be hacking the Pentagon and starting World War III. But let's be sensible for a minute. You get what you w
          ant out of any experience. If you get offered a product which you suspect has fallen off the back of a lorry, you either take the risk and buy it, or you don't. Similarly with File Sharing. We all know what we're doing. Do you take the risk? Or could it be that "Spiderman - the movie.avi" is actually a nasty virus which will crash your entire computer? It's a risk. In Summary: (At Last!!!) Yes, file sharing is breaking the law, but how can the law possibly compete with that - it's like them breaking into every house where friends copy each others CDs. Daft. But users have to be aware of what they are doing, and if they want to take the risks, accept the possible consequences.

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            07.07.2002 00:34
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            I am really new to mp3 and music sites, so when i enquired after this new phonomenon i was directed to napster, which is the most well known. Unfortunately, for me, this came too late, as the site was almost closed due to court cases, so i went in search of different ones, although there were plenty i found downloading time excessive and difficult, so abandoned the idea until i had more information. I duly did my homework and tackled the sites with much more confidence, then along came audiogalaxy!! I registered with this site as instructed, downloaded the music i wanted (if it was available) and happily switched off my computer content that i had done something at last. The following day i switched on my computer as normal, but it did not behave as normal, there were major delays in accessing my desktop, unusual adverts and a general slowing down of the whole system, time to fetch the expert (hubby), he examined recently downloaded programs and enquired as to how many files i had downloaded the previous evening, as i had only downloaded audiogalaxy and a few music files, this was easy to answer, but the computer told a very different story. This site had managed to download no less than six programs onto my hard drive which proceeded to dominate the whole thing, they were all duly deleted and everything returned to normal, now you would think that was the end of the matter! but no I have today received an e-mail from my daughter, who downloaded the napster website last night, she now reports that it has completely wiped out her usual e-mails, she can receive them, but can not send any e-mails out, without error notices giving her the information, as this was the only site she has downloaded for a while she investigated, and discovered that not only has she downloaded the music but umpteen other files as well!! Having checked out the chat rooms to gain information, i have learnt that many others have experience
            d these problems too, and so downloading music from the internet is not free or easy, unless you know how to put these things right, or know someone who does, it could result in a very expensive visit from your local pc retailer. If anyone can give me help on how to avoid the pitfalls (or mistakes if i am at fault) then i would advise everyone to be cautious and look very carefully at what is being downloaded and when, do not leave the computer to download files by itself or you could easily end up with the problems i have encoutered.

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              25.06.2002 21:09
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              Who pays for music these days? the only people i know of are those who dont use the internet much or real hardcore fans. This should probably go in as a short oppinion but I am not sure how much extra i will write on later. i am interested to know whether anyone else is like me and never! buys any music. Call me cheap but I download all my tracks. I havent bought a single legal music cd in years. I have 10 gigabytes of mp3s on my hard drive (but on a 80 gig drive this does not clog up space as some other writers here have claimed). If I want a song the choice is obious: do i go to the shop and buy the cd, or spend a few minutes downloading? I can get all the songs I want and if i dont like it I delete it which costs me nothing. If I really like a track I can simply burn it to cd using audio software to automaticaly clean up the recording and put it quite near cd quality. if I want better audio then I can download a better version of the file. I realise other people like the art and the alure of a legal purchaced cd (and i admit so do i) but with my limited budget i prefer to pay for things that i have to pay for (such as hardware) and skimp on software as long as it can still be done (they are sure to do something about it some day). As things are at the moment they are good because not many people simply download everything. But more and more people are downloading mp3s so it is bound to be stopped sometime (i dont know how) and that will put an end to my freebooting. Doo any other dooyoo members get music in the same way i do? or are you all model music buyers? I also download Movies (such as starwars episode 2 (which i have also paid to watch in the cinema)) does anyone else use this method to skimp on films and videos too?

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                22.06.2002 14:55
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                The people who now expect napster users to pay for the service are the ones who are going to lose out in the end. I myself can think of a few other services - all just as good as napster - where anyone can download not only music but videos, software you name it for absolutely nothing. Services such as morpheus, kazaa, winmx and a few more all offer the same level of service that napster used to offer us but the difference is that they all offer it for free. I think that music should be free as trying to charge people for it will only make them turn to other things like morpheus, kazaa etc and get it for free and it will be napster who are losing out on business and popularity.

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                  14.05.2002 21:58
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                  • "Music shops Out of Business."

                  When I first heard about napster I thought that it would be a decent website such as Amazon.co.uk where you buy the music and then download it. BUt when I heard that we were getting it all free, I thought... Hey, how do the artists get the money???? Now I know that there is talk over introducing charges, but this does not change anything. IF they managed to get away with giving the music away how are the artist know that they're getting the right amount of money from them. Now in general, the idea of being able to download music off the web is a particularly good idea, but the problem is that this music is the cumulation of weeks if not months of the artist hard work, and they deserve better than to be scammed. Those who cry "we use them just as samples" talk so much through their behinds, because they have the music and will not go out and buy the record as they don't need it. I know people who download these MP3's and then sell them on! Samples indeed, I've never heard so much rubbish! If you go onto the Amazon.co.uk site you can PLAY some of the tunes but not download them... There's your bleedin samples m8. Now o.k. there are some people holding the view that these artist have plenty of money, so they won't miss a few quid of the sale of my record... Well it's not just your record is it? It's thousands of internet user's record sales what they miss out on. And anyway, it's stealing isn't it... you are stealing the work of an artist without any payment whatsoever. We have a little system called the copyright system where artists can say that there is no unauthorised copying, display to the public and other stuff. This is in fact a law and napster were indeed breaking it. They should be shut down and thrown into prison. As a minor artist (small band 1 single released ten years ago) I feel that if someone had come along and gave away copies of my cd
                  over the web and gave me nothing I would kill him! (metaphorically) I would not be happy at all. So how do you think the artists feel when you are sat there downloading their songs buck shee? They're gutted! Conclusion: Napster stole a lot of copyrighted property and should no longer be allowed to provide that service (whether for money or not) on the web.

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                    27.04.2002 02:31
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                    Napster has been around for some time now and will probably turn into a “Pay-Per-Download site” very soon, and good ridden, I say. Napster is illegal! The Napster and MP3 revolution is ripping of the industry and giving the people whose music that you listen to less and less incentive to carry on. Many people may say that these pop artists are getting too much money anyway, but more money in the industry would give record companies more availability to get net talent, that’s what we want, which is being proved by the people who visit Napsters site. So, basically Napster allows, and yes I do agree it’s a masterpiece of software engineering, the user to download any MP3 music file that they want very quickly, for free, enabling CD music prices to sore further. This type of software is doing the industry no good, and if it carry’s on we will either pay sky high prices for over manufacture music, or nothing new will be created, its up to you As you can see, my opinion is that it shouldn’t be free, no way. People are creating this music, so that they can make a decent living for themselves, that’s what’s it all about. So if you want music either buy it down the shop, like most normal people and stop ruining the earnings of producers……

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                      27.03.2002 01:06
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                      Since Napster is no longer, this opinion is about the sharing of music files in general. I joined Napster at the tail end, a few months before it was shut down. At that point in time, I wasn't interested in downloading whole albums - I would just download a few songs from an album as a taster before I bought it. Now I have Kazaa, which is so much better than Napster -the files don't fail to download, and they can pick up when you next log in. I have found this useful in downloading whole albums, and so far I have downloaded albums by Mudvayne, Backyard Babies, Boy Hits Car, Pennywise, Incubus and Ill Nino. However, there is the argument that this is wrong - that by doing so we are ripping off the artists and in effect stealing from them. While I am against downloading albums from small, struggling bands, because I feel that they will lack the recognition from it, I have a few pointers to make so that I can justify my right to download music. I would count myself as a music fan, I like to discover new bands and some groups that I like aren't famous, but I like to have access to music. The average music fan of the music that I like - alternative and rock - is in their teens of twenties. However, it is not uncommon for me to go into record shops and see the CD that I want to buy on sale for sixteen of seventeen pounds, and to be honest, I am not going to pay that for about twelve tracks. There are other things that we need to spend our money on - when I go off to university this year money will be short but I don't intend on missing out on music. The bands most likely don't see half of the money that you spend on their CDs - it is the expense of the packaging, the record label charges and then commission for the shop. When I download an album, I probably download about eight pounds worth, so in effect I am not taking as much as labels will have you believe. Bands such as Metallica have earned a huge amount of money in t
                      he past years - not just from the music, but other things like merchandise, which they haven't produced themselves. Millionaires and famous successful bands surely can let a few pounds go - after all, they have what they want, whereas us, the poor public have to buy our own food and houses. Think of the amount of money they get just from appearing on television, and all the freebies they 'earn'. Now think - is that really fair, just because they're 'famous' If I go to a gig and I like the band then I will often buy their album or anything else going, and this genuinely benefits the struggling bands - besides, I doubt I can get Five Knuckle or Jesse James downloads on the net! In the past people have taped their friends albums in order to expand their record collections, and although this isn't strictly legal, it is recognised that people do this and that It can't really be enforced. An excellent suggestion of my dad's was that if certain bands or labels were so uptight about sharing music, then couldn't they join forces with people who sell recordable CDs and tapes and then at least they will get a bit of a profit. There is also the point that a vast amount of people will download a few tracks off of an album so that they know whether to buy it or not. If I hadn't done it then I would have never have bought the Dandy Warhol's album, so you can see that it really does benefit certain bands. So I can see the arguments against sharing music, but I don't think that anyone can control it. It has always gone on, since the invention of recorded music, except now it's more obvious. I don't think many artists are missing out on money, after all many of them claim that they are only in it for the music, don't they?! (I really don't believe that in most cases anyway).

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                        17.03.2002 18:50
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                        Being a very active Mp3 downloader i certainly do not think that people like me should have to pay for the MP3s. Some my say that my opinion is biased and hey it probably is but, its my honest opinion. Napster is just the most famous of hundreds maybe thousands of places that you can download free music from varous artists. If Napster was to start charging for its use people would just move to one of the many other places. Like i already have, as i have not used napster in over a year. There is absolutely no way that every site that hosts free mp3s could be monitored and made to enforce charges. Artists like Metallica who are at the forefront of the campaign for banning free mp3 exchange, are obviouly worried about the money that they are losing. However if you are like me and there are hundreds of cds that you want to buy, and you just don't have the money, i'd rather save some money for myself, than give the multi millionaires, Metallica a few extra pounds. Yes these few extra pounds build up, but there are still thousands of people buying Metallica merchandise every day, and the band are already hugely rich. For other bands like U2 who are fine with the free exchange of Mp3s and actually encourage it, it seems that they would prefer to have as many people hear their music and message as possible, whether they pay or not. Some would say that it comes down to why the band are making the music. If they are making the music to get across a message or for the love of it, surely most would not have a problem with the exchange of MP3s for free. However if the band are making the music for money, which is fine, they obviously will have something negative to say about the free exchange of music. For up and coming bands who want to get their music out there so people can hear it, places like Napster are a god send. They can put mp3s of their work on there, making it available to a huge amount of people. These people, if
                        they like the music, will go out and buy the bands cd, spread the word of the band and go to thier next gig, benefitting the band in a huge way. This is the main way in which i use places like Napster, not only do i download music i've heard and liked, i d/l music that has been recomended, or of artists in my favourite genre of music, usually punk, who i have not heard before. If i like their music enough i will go out an buy cd. It all comes down to whether music should be free or not. Well the radio, in theory, does exactly the same as places like Napster. Yet no one is talking about putting charges on listening to the radio, are they? So why put charges on places like Napster? If you agree with me, that music should be free, great continue downloading. If you don't, great too, just don't download music, go and fork out £13 for a cd if it makes you feel better about making a tiny contribution to the ever growing pockets of the huge artists and record companies.

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                          12.03.2002 15:19
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                          What are mp3s other than the latest medium of allowing music to be heard, liked or disliked and then bought? If this is such a taboo then why not ban the radio as it does the same job. Okay I’m being a little extreme and obviously there are a few differences such as the radio pays the artists for the songs they play, but mp3s allows the artists to establish a fan base quicker than radio, influencing people in buying their records. But soon enough there is inevitably going to be a scheme that pays the artist whenever someone downloads their material but will it take off? Personally I doubt it. It is safe to assume that what people can get for free, they won't pay for. Even if it is something worthwhile like crediting the artist when you listen to their music. I for one have downloaded bands that don't get radio airplay, mainly as they're too alternative, and thanks to mp3 I’ve grown to really like them. Fair enough there are some people who abuse mp3 and download complete albums burning them onto C.D. having the artist and his or her record company loose out on the cost of the C.D. and saving the listener however much the cost of the album but this is the minority of music fans and are hardly worthy of a statistic that could go against peer to peer music trading. Since the beginning of emusic trading record companies profits have been up no end as quoted by Courtney Love on napster's campaign to have file sharing made legitimate, so why do they complain about something that is potentially the best thing to happen to them since MTV? When the video recorder was released moviemakers tried to ban that, now it keeps thousands of production companies afloat. Who's to say mp3 can't have the same effect. Already we have companies trying to corner the emusic market. It's inevitable that people will download whether napster is open or close so they're saying, "If we
                          can't beat them, join them." And when Metallica launched their anti-napster campaign the amount of fans that lost their respect for the band must have been incredible. I know I did and I don't intend on buying another Metallica C.D. in the near future surely this was the most important the must have thought about before starting court proceedings. The multi-millionaires choose to hinder any up and coming artists careers by refusing the mp3 loving public to hear them, these being the future of music, and Hetfield and his associates ruined this so they could keep a few dollars in the bank. Where has it got them? File trading still exists and is as strong as ever, Metallica have lost fans and proved themselves to be the co-operate, I wont say sell outs as metal hardly has the same rules about being successful as for instance punk but they have undoubtedly proved themselves to be the sharks that they are. There is no foreseeable way of completely preventing file sharing, not one however that would cost millions and millions of dollars so the only real option is to accept that it happens and work with it. I have downloaded songs and purchased albums, as I’m sure many more people have, emusic is the way forward and they’re no disputing it.

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                            05.11.2001 02:54
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                            I am writing this off the top of my head and that head is full of flu so apologies if my ramblings take a turn for the worse. Sneeze. Cough. Snot. I have only had direct access to the internet since January this year. I used to use the computers at University but alas you could not really download onto the hard drive. So 2001 brought an epiphany for me, the realm of MP3's. I initially started using Napster but then I got fed up of waiting so long and the downloads being discontinued, so I moved on to audiogalaxy.com. Hoorah I was like a child in a sweetshop, you see I don't have all that much money and so I have to really like a band before I can treat myself to a compact disc. Yes ,your very reading of this is going towards the ever so long back catalogue of CD's I wish to one day own. I agree to some extent that music should be free as these services allow me access to artists I wouldn't ordinarily find. Let me give you two examples... I also use MP3.com, which is a mecca for unsigned or obscure bands, thanks to my general mooching in this area I have become acquainted with American acts that have not really done anything in the UK. So I can now look forward to treating myself to the glorious Cowgirl in The Snow CD that I downloaded from the site. Yes, Yes, what is the point in me buying the CD if I have most of it downloaded? Well for starters the sound quality will be greatly improved plus I can listen to it whenever I want. Also my friend's band Lapel (Check them out please if you can) have just put a couple of tracks on this site and they have already been approached by a radio station in America. So allowing fans a few free examples of your material is benificial in the long term. I do appreciate that there are financial and copyright concerns in this area but I can honestly say that being able to use these services in general has expanded my mus
                            ical taste and passion for diffrent artists. Music should therefore be free to some extent and surely the competion of the ever expanding MP3 world will lead to cheaper CD's sometime soon

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                              20.10.2001 19:57
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                              I have thought about this and I have arguments for and against free music downloading from Napster etc. My actual opinion is that you should be able to download music freely. But I also believe in a money-less society and communism. Neither of these will happen until greed and selfishness (I’m not showing of my ego by claiming I am not affected by these, that would be lying, but please don’t moan about me being a hypocrite) as these stop communism from working. This was shown when many countries became ‘communist’ earlier this century and were much less prosperous then the ‘west’ capital societies. I believe this was due to people not working to their full potential, as they had no reason to (they get ‘paid’ the same whatever) If music were truly given away free, and it was easy to access, then the musical artists wouldn’t make any money at all. They would have to have other jobs and so the quality/quantity of their music would decline. Artists have to be paid unless no one is being paid, like in a communist society. I think true communism can be only achieved when humans have ‘evolved’ to a less selfish form. A common argument in favour of free music (I’ve seen it said by others in this forum) is that MP3s aren’t very permanent. It is true that many people just download Internet music to see what it’s like. “Try before you Buy”. I will admit I have done this myself. The problem is that many people aren’t downloading for this reason. Some intend to keep the music on their computer and with a CD-R drive (£50 minimum) and some blank CDs (less than £1 each) you can be pirate-copying CDs and this really makes a mess. As a last word I think music should be free, but only if everything else is.

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                              29.09.2001 06:13
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                              If you ask me should music be free, I would say yes. When I see on Television and reading in papers the obscene amounts of money certain artist are paid it makes me mad. Their main claim to this amount of money is they need it got develop their skills i.e. better recording studios, better CD production and promotion of the products. They say without this royalties money music would suffer. Personal speaking I think music is suffering because of this system. It is creation Music Munster's i.e. Michael Jackson, Elton John, R.E.M &. U2 to may to mention. These artist are now able to get payed for doing absolutely nothing. Just think how this system would work for all of the rest of the world, myself I build houses, so should I get paid a lump sum ever time the house is sold, or to take it to the extremes, every time you use it? No I don't think may people would like that, but what's good enough for some guy with a guitar or a piano should be good enough for me. My solution to this problem is the artist should get payed for their live performances, this would encourage all bands, no matter how big or important they think they are to continually tour. Resulting in better musicianship and more new material. The CD market then should only cover the cost of recording the material, not some spoilt rich reclusive star who is far removed for his fan base

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